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Aristophanes and the Cloak of Comedy"Affect, Aesthetics, and the Canon"$
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Mario Telò

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226309699

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226309729.001.0001

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A Touch of Class: The Enduring Texture of Aristophanic Comedy

A Touch of Class: The Enduring Texture of Aristophanic Comedy

(p.27) 2 A Touch of Class: The Enduring Texture of Aristophanic Comedy
Aristophanes and the Cloak of Comedy

Mario Telò

University of Chicago Press

This chapter argues that the father-son battle of Wasps grounds the sense experience of dramatic reception in the materiality of textiles by reimagining the defeat of Clouds in423 as a choice between Cratinus’s threadbare, deceptively liberating cloak (the tribōn) and Aristophanes’ thick, capacious formal wrap (the chlaina). While the tribōn exposes the play’s wandering father to cold and fevers, the chlaina offered by his son promises the warm, soft texture of a garment with protective and curative force—the affective quality imputed to the performance of the first Clouds. Based on multiple intratextual connections of parabasis and plot, this analysis helps gauge the essential, paradoxical role that Wasps’ narrative of failure plays in granting Aristophanes supremacy in the ancient comic canon.

Keywords:   Aristophanes, Clouds, Wasps, Cratinus, materiality, texture, affective, performance, canon, father

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